This post is sponsored by Chameleon Reader.

Like many military kids, my children have spent most of their lives living far from relatives. They mostly see the grandparents through video calls, and we only have in-person visits once or twice a year. It can be difficult to help young children recognize their relatives and have a long-distance relationship with them. One way that we have learned to stay connected across the miles is by reading books together.

Books are a great way for distant family members to form a bond with young children. Modern technology gives us so many options and different ways to read a book together. You can read during a video chat, record a video to be watched later, use interactive apps, or use a voice-recording book. All of these have specific advantages, and over the years I have discussed several reading methods that parents can use, especially during deployments. But I recently discovered a new reading tool that can make a big difference for military families.

A New Way to Connect Military Kids Through Reading

What is Chameleon Reader?

Chameleon Reader is an interactive pen that can be used to record and playback someone’s voice reading any book. Using chameleon stickers on every page, different adults can record a reading, and the child can easily use the pen to choose which one they want to hear. Because the stickers can be placed on any book you own, it’s easy to make a treasured recording of your child’s favorite book.

I can see numerous ways Chameleon Reader will help military kids. The voice recorder makes it easier to manage distant duty stations where you don’t have many visits from relatives. Having a grandparent or relative record their reading during a visit to the home is a great way for the child to remain connected and remember their voice. You could even record over a Zoom call, with the parent at home using the stickers and pen, and the long-distance loved one recording when prompted.

A new way to read to kids during deployment

Of course, voice recordings are also a wonderful tool for military kids to enjoy during deployment. The service member can record their reading into the pen before they leave. Then the child can enjoy reading their favorite book with their deployed parent whenever they want. I love that it is convenient and young children can manage it on their own by simply touching the pen to the chameleon sticker on each page. This is really helpful for solo parents managing multiple kids during deployment bedtimes! Let one child enjoy a bedtime story on their own, while you help settle other kids into their beds.

A New Way to Connect Military Kids Through Reading

One unique aspect of the Chameleon Reader is that each color palette sticker at the beginning of the book allows up to four different recordings. The child selects which one they want to hear by touching the pen to the specific color on the sticker. So you can have a recording from multiple people in the household, and a child can listen to readings from mom, dad, or big sister. Or they can choose which grandma’s voice they want to hear today. You already know your child wants to hear their favorite book read again and again, so Chameleon Reader gives you options to listen to different readers.

Finally, it’s a great tool for learning new languages. You could use different colors to read in different languages. This is an excellent tool for bilingual military families who want to teach their children another language. It is also useful if you get orders to move overseas. You can ask a fluent speaker to read your child’s favorite book in their own language so your child can learn the sound of it and begin to recognize a few vocabulary words. Listening to the same book read in both English and another language is a great way to pick up new words. When we moved overseas to Spain, I learned Spanish and enrolled my children in Spanish preschools. They learned a lot very quickly at that age!

To see more ways you can use Chameleon Reader for your military kid, watch their quick intro video here.

Win a Chameleon Reader set for your military kid!

During October, the month of the Deployed, I will be giving away a Chameleon Reader set in my Facebook group called “Handle Deployment Like a Boss!” You can join the group here to participate in the giveaway.


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